31 posts tagged nw
We’d like to wish Zadie Smith good luck at the National Book Critics Circle Awards tonight! We’ll keep our fingers crossed for NW.
The NBCC blog interviewed Ms. Smith about her latest novel:
Ben Janse: Do you think authors owe it to their readers to be socially conscious in their novels and attempt to address the social issues of the day?
Zadie Smith: No. I don’t think authors owe their readers anything, or vice versa - it’s not that kind of relationship. That said, I personally enjoy writing that attends to the present. I can see that the historical past comes with its own gravitas and weight, and that many writers rely on that as ballast. And to many readers, too, the present feels weightless, ‘trendy,’ un-literary. I find I like that problem. I like taking on the challenge of a reader’s contempt for his own times.
BJ: What was the hardest thing to write in NW?
ZS: All of it. It was a difficult book to write. It was difficult fighting my own tendency towards smoothness. Smoothness can be a great advantage in a novel, a great asset to keep things bobbing along at a certain pace; but it can also be a way of being glib, of passing over what should be more closely examined. I wanted to create a different quality of attention in my reader.
Practically speaking, too, it was just a long process. Seven years is a long time and I had other obligations. It’s different writing with children and without, different writing at my age as compared to when I was 22. But despite the difficulties I found it to be by far the most rewarding writing experience of my life so far.
The National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its 2012 Awards this morning. A big congratulations to all of the authors! (Especially Zadie Smith and Steve Coll.)
- Laurent Binet, HHhH. tr. by Sam Taylor. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Ecco
- Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master’s Son. Random House
- Lydia Millet, Magnificence. W. W. Norton
- Zadie Smith, NW. The Penguin Press
- Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Random House
- Steve Coll, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power. The Penguin Press
- Jim Holt, Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story. A Liveright Book: W. W. Norton
- David Quammen, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. W.W. Norton
- Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. Scribner
- Reyna Grande, The Distance Between Us. Atria Books
- Maureen N. McLane, My Poets. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Anthony Shadid, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Leanne Shapton, Swimming Studies. Blue Rider Press
- Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, In the House of the Interpreter. Pantheon
- Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Alfred A. Knopf
- Lisa Cohen, All We Know: Three Lives. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Michael Gorra, Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece. A Liveright Book: W. W. Norton
- Lisa Jarnot, Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus: A Biography. University of California Press
- Tom Reiss, The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. Crown Publishers
- Paul Elie, Reinventing Bach. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Daniel Mendelsohn, Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture. New York Review Books
- Mary Ruefle, Madness, Rack, and Honey. Wave Books
- Marina Warner, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights. Belknap Press: Harvard University Press
- Kevin Young, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness. Graywolf Press
- David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations. University of Chicago Press
- Lucia Perillo, On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths. Copper Canyon Press
- Allan Peterson, Fragile Acts. McSweeney’s Books
- D. A. Powell, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys. Graywolf Press
- A. E. Stallings, Olives. Triquarterly: Northwestern University Press
Penguin Press - Best Articles of 2012
We’re highlighting our favorite articles and stories from the past twelve months or so. Enjoy.
Here’s Zadie Smith’s tour of Kilburn, using her novel NW. You can also watch her tour of Willesden Lane, Camden Lock, and 37 Ridley Ave.
And of course you can read a bit of NW itself, here.
PSB’s Hanna Rosin along with Slate Book Review editor Dan Kois and Brow Beat editor David Haglund explore London based on Zadie Smith’s new novel, NW. Check it out!
An excellent discussion. Best if you’ve already read NW…
We’re thrilled to share The New York Times Top 10 Books of 2012 includes two of our books: NW by Zadie Smith and The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw. A big congratulations to both writers!
(Photos by Kristina DiMatteo and Rex Bonomel)
Family portraits, 2012.
So that’s why Michael Grunwald was sneaking around our offices while we were finalizing the NW cover.